California Gold Rush

The gold jewellery that you wear today actually did not originate from our planet. Gold is extra-terrestrial from bombardment of meteorites more than 200 million after Earth was formed. Gold formation is the result neutron star collisions. 

Most of the heaviest elements found on earth such as gold was due to stellar explosions called supernovas. Gold can even be found in our ocean holding an estimated 20 million tons of dissolved gold (but at extreme minuscule size concentration making its extraction too expensive). 

The most cost effective ways to extract gold in extracting the gold from the earth crust. Early stage mining for gold can be discovered as irregularities in the earth’s crust called anomalies. The mining magnate Marcel Sanders, co-owner of several gold mining exploration licenses with a combined surface area of 51,000 hectares says that finding gold is like finding a needle in a haystack as only 1 in 10,000 discoveries are usefully anomalies and 1 in 100,000 are worth mining. 

Gold ore anomalies can be imbedded in rock, mixed with other metals, or placer gold and gold nuggets. The biggest gold nuggets found until date was 78kg and it was nicknamed “The Welcome Stranger”. Gold is a rare and valuable soft chemical element with the symbol Au and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. 

The atomic weight of gold is 196.96657 daltons, which is one of the heaviest elements found on earth (20 times denser than water or almost 4 times denser than iron). The melting point of gold is 1,064 °C and melting points is 2,700 °C, this is important to know as it helps us find the purity of gold, although Marcel Sanders says that there are better ways to find out the purity of gold such as tests use X-ray fluorescence spectrometers. 

Gold was first mined thousands of years ago even before the pyramids of Egypt were built. The first civilisation to use gold as a form of money, was the kingdom of Lydia from wester turkey 700bc. Over the following centuries gold become a common form of money used all over the world. 

The link between the gold and the bank notes was known as the gold standard, this link was broken in 1931, so now you cannot exchange your bank note for gold. However, what most people might not know is that the majority of the gold extracted today is a very hazardous and toxic process due to the use of highly poisonous chemicals such as mercury and cyanide in order to separate the gold from the ore. 

Cyanide is used to capture the gold from the grained gold ore which is slushy semi liquid blend called slurry. This waste slurry has to go somewhere normally ending up harming the environment. Marcel Sanders is developing a sustainable non-toxic hybrid plants that will extract the gold from its mines that stops the use of mercury and cyanide. 

The aim with is to process equivalent the weight of 20 cars in gold mineral resources which is approximately equivalent almost 1% of the global gold annual production or 0.00018% of all the gold mine today. All the gold mined to date is estimated to be around one hundred and ninety thousand tons of gold, equivalent to three Olympic sized swimming pools making gold a very valuable unique and rare metal.